Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Humanitarian organizations curbed by Ottawa in Afghanistan

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Afghan women demonstrated for the right to education in Mazar-i-Sharif on August 12.

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Canadian humanitarian organizations affirm that& #They still face obstacles from Ottawa in getting aid to Afghanistan, despite Parliament passing a law to protect them in June against any prosecution for terrorism-related offenses.

Before these legislative changes, simply paying taxes to the Taliban for work or goods in the country could be considered financial support for a terrorist organization, under the Criminal Code.

Parliament passed a law in June immediately allowing aid workers to undertake urgent work in Afghanistan. The new law also requires Ottawa to put in place an authorization process for longer-term projects, such as the construction of schools.

But the charity Islamic Relief says Ottawa gives conflicting information about which projects require permits, so the organization has not been in compliance. able to respond to immediate crises such as malnutrition and natural disasters.

World Vision Canada says for its part that it cannot undertake programs to promote women's rights, as there is not yet an application process for the permits outlined in the new law.

The Department of Public Safety says it is working to resolve these issues, but does not have a timeline for when it will allow agencies to submit permit applications.

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